Isidore of Seville as an Historian

Wood, Jamie (2019) Isidore of Seville as an Historian. In: A Companion to Isidore of Seville. Brill's Companions to the Christian Tradition, (87). Brill, Leiden, pp. 153-181. ISBN UNSPECIFIED

Isidore of Seville as an Historian
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The fact that Isidore and his contemporaries in Visigothic Spain did not compose histories of significant length and detail has led many scholars to judge 6th- and 7th-century Spain as something of a historiographical wasteland. For example, E.A. Thompson stated that Isidore: “could hardly have told us less, except by not writing at all”. Walter Goffart described Isidore as “almost distinguished enough” as an historian to be included in his quartet of “narrators of barbarian history”. Despite these less-than-positive appraisals of Visigothic era historiography, the past was fundamental to how the people of Visigothic Spain understood their position in the world. Aside from works of history writing and hagiography, many of the documentary sources of the period, from the records of church councils to the efforts of kings to make and codify royal laws, were essentially backward-looking and involved the collation and reconfiguration of the knowledge of past times. Knowledge of the past had to be deployed so that it could be made useful in the present and future.

Keywords:Isidore of Seville, History, Religion, Spain, Medieval
Subjects:V Historical and Philosophical studies > V130 Medieval History
V Historical and Philosophical studies > V340 Intellectual History
V Historical and Philosophical studies > V110 Ancient History
V Historical and Philosophical studies > V330 History of Religions
Divisions:College of Arts > School of History & Heritage > School of History & Heritage (History)
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ID Code:38928
Deposited On:19 Nov 2019 14:39

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